Well, I’ve been back in Alaska now almost four months. Where exactly did the summer go? I feel like I am still flailing in the wind. A few of you have been reaching out wanting to know what is going on with me, and have missed my storytelling posts. So let’s take things from the top shall we? Here’s my little story, It’s Not All Roses and Sunshine Right Now, But I’m Working On It.
This past Sunday, I was bartending at 49th State Brewery to cover the football games (I’m only there two times a week now so I can write more). There was a picture taken of me with the drinks and food specials for the day. I took one look at my face in that picture and knew I was in trouble (again!). You see, I haven’t had my liver medication for five days as I waited for the prescription to be filled. My face was ashen, sunken in and bloated at the same time. I looked sick, and quite honestly, terrible. I didn’t want to post it and was mortified when so many people started Liking it. Nope. Don’t like it, I don’t really want anyone to see it.
This is the pic that made me look hard in the mirror and say – Nope, not going down this road again.
Now my current profile photo was taken back in May when I was at my healthiest this year. I have gained seven pounds since I’ve been back in Alaska. More than one person has commented on how I look nothing like that photo I took at the beginning of summer. Just so you know, it isn’t really about the weight. It is about my overall health living with a severe food allergy that affects me in ways that would surprise you.
CrossFit every day, eating clean, and just made the decision to come back to Alaska. I was SO happy here.
I still have a soy reaction at least once a week. Thankfully, they have been minor with only having hives on my head underneath my hair. My weight gain is also reflected each time I ingest soy.
Here’s the other problem… for the past couple months I have worked a ton at the brewery. There are very few items on the menu that are soy free. I bring snacks, but at the end of a long shift, I stay and have a beer and order something to eat. One of those things I can have is pizza. I had been 80% Paleo for six months and then went to eating pizza a couple times a week for the last two months. Let’s just say my entire system is pissed off.
My body enjoys a Paleo lifestyle and that’s what I am going back to. It will always be hard to be soy-free, but it isn’t like I have a choice in the matter. I either eat correctly or I die. The choice is mine.
I’m still not going to CrossFit. It is very expensive here, and right now, it isn’t in my budget. So for now, I have committed to this daily workout: 100 squats, 75 leg lifts, 50 sit-ups, 10 flights of stairs, 5 burpees.
Those of you that see me on the regular have noticed that my right arm is taped up almost all the time now. I am in severe pain. My nerves are on fire and shoot down my arm in the most excruciating pain imaginable. I wake up at night crying in agony. It hurts to type, it hurts to pour a beer, it hurts to move my arm at all. Depending on the moment, the pain radiates out of my shoulder, down to my elbow, and encompasses all of my forearm and fingers.
I use KT Tape daily and cannot function at this point without it. I’ve had electro stimulation done on my arm as well as cupping, icing it, and physical therapy. I head back to the doctor tomorrow for a follow-up. The pain lifts for a few hours after treatments and then is back the next day. Arnica gel has been my friend lately and helps a bit. I’ve been instructed to wear a wrist and arm brace at night and to have my arm in a sling to help the tendons and muscles relax and heal during the day.
Want to know when all this started? Dip netting for salmon back in July! That second time out when I caught the 13 fish wrecked my shoulder for which I have yet to recover.
I love fishing, but man, did it do a whallop to my already torn Rotator Cuff. 🙁
So basically, my health isn’t awesome right now… but, I have the knowledge to fix this and I am doing just that. Not wallowing in self pity, but doing actionable steps to get back to baseline.
Writing vs. Bartending
I get asked all the time about why in the hell am I bartending and not writing? It started out in Indiana when I was helping to run my uncle’s craft beer bar, which has since closed its doors. I realized something though while I was there that I missed human interaction. You know, talking to real people in the flesh. This simple fact is why I chose to bartend at 49th State Brewery over the summer. Being behind a keyboard for 10 hours a day and not saying a word to another human soul can get to you. Now that Alaska’s tourist season is over, I will work less there and get back to what I truly love – writing.
What is the lesson?
There has to be a reason why I have been diverted from writing this year. I am still trying to figure out why I was pulled away from a successful writing career to work in an industry that I wasn’t ever a part of. And let me tell you, trying to get my blog going again and writing like I used to, is hard. VERY hard. When I decided to write again full-time I was faced with full on writer’s block for the first time in my life.
If you have any insight into what this lesson could be, don’t be shy, let me know in the comments.
The Good Stuff
I have met a lot of people who live in Alaska year round that will make this winter be a little easier (thank you 49th State!). The last time I was here I was just getting to know people and I was very lonely. Being lonely in Alaska in the winter is not a good combination.
I also love to talk about Alaska beer with locals and tourists alike at the brewery and I love that! It has made me realize though that I talk a lot about Alaska beer, but have been light on writing about it lately, so that will change! I honestly can’t wait!!
Two outstanding beers right here, folks.
One of my good friends moved to Alaska in July with her daughter. It has been stressful, but also very nice having a good friend here. I enjoy making breakfast and lunch for the little one. We color together, talk about the things we love in Alaska, and generally have a good time hanging out. Kids are hard though! I’m not used to balancing my schedule with someone else’s or taking other’s needs into my plans. So I’m trying. Trying really hard to help them find their way in this state I love so much.
The Not So Good Stuff
Financially things are tough, but I am working hard every day to make things easier for us. Basically, there have been very few days over the last few months that I have taken completely off. I work in the morning for my clients and then bartend at night. When I have to choose whether to write on my blog or sell content to other writers and publications, I choose to write to sell.
I’m still not living in Anchorage. I like where I am at now, it is a beautiful home and I like it here. If I could just pick up this house and put it in Anchorage, I would be so much happier. The daily commute of an hour each way is killing me, especially late at night. I don’t feel settled, I am restless, and my temper has been flaring up a lot more lately.
Those of you who have read me for awhile might remember that I worked on my temper for years. So when I notice I am short with people or bitchy, then I know there is a larger problem that I need to address.
What Am I Doing About It
Every morning when I wake up I meditate. I firmly believe if you don’t love yourself no one else will – so I tell myself, I love you Kristi. And I mean it. I love the woman I have become. I also list out three things I want to accomplish that day and three things I am grateful for. I do this again at the end of the day before I go to sleep. This simple meditation practice helps to ground me and center me.
I need more nature time… but when I do get out there, I come back with pics like this!!
I’m spending some time planning like I used to do when I had my marketing agency (seriously, I was way too Type A in planning out my life). Then 3+ years of being nomadic made it so that I didn’t even plan for tomorrow. Which reminds me, if you have a second, could you answer these questions for me here? I want to make sure I am writing not only for me, but for you too.
I have some really cool projects that I am working on and will be debuting them in the coming weeks. I feel excited about putting down roots in Alaska and reconnecting to my writing.
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